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Medical Assistants’ Perspectives on their Training Needs

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2020.0077-0082

german translation / full article

Regina Poß-Doering, Frank Peters-Klimm, Stefan Nöst

Keywords: continuing education family medicine medical assistant role medical delegation

BackgroundIn modern family practice settings, ensuring access to care for patients and their complex needs is changing work processes, driving delegation of some tasks to medical assistants (MA). Thus, the altered task range exceeds vocational education content. Within this context, perceptions of medical assistants on their training needs and collaborative practice were explored. MethodsEmbedded into a thematic workshop session during a regional educational event in Heidelberg, data collection was conducted with three focus groups and a total of 14 medical assistants. After informed consent, discussions were digitally recorded. Verbatim transcriptions were analyzed using structured content analysis. An accompanying survey supplied context and socio-demographic data. ResultsDespite perceived challenges, participants expressed high motivation for continuing professional development to improve quality in patient care. With regard to task shifting and delegation, challenges included: patient observation, home visits, triage and medical prescriptions. Participants wished for structured distribution of workloads and formal handovers to be established into daily routines. Financing additional training generally was considered problematic. ConclusionsIn the increasingly complex family practice setting, medical assistants feel a need for continuing education regarding their medical knowledge and clinical competencies. Corresponding educative offers need to be embedded in needs-based interventions of staff and organizational development and support development of necessary competencies. Current training content should be checked against compatibility with existing and future demands.Keywordsmedical assistant role; continuing education; medical delegation; family medicine


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(State: 05.02.2020)

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In Focus

  • Medical Assistants’ Perspectives on their Training Needs
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccination
  • What is Good Specialist Training?